Sneak Peek

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"Shit!"

"Language."

Le pause.

Did he just ....–?

"Jarvis, what's the view from upstairs?" Steve powers on, entirely disregarding the fact that he scolded Tony like a little displeased grandma mere seconds ago.

"The central building it protected by some kind of energy shield," Jarvis dutifully answers as I snap my fingers sharply, all the snow encompassing me within a ten meter radius solidifying, creeping, crawling up the bodies of the HYDRA agents like a cool infection until they are nothing but solid ice. I hardly even pause in my sprint onwards. "Strucker's technology is well beyond any other HYDRA base we've taken."

Jarringly snapping my wrist out and back, the shoulders of two incoming assailants crack out of place, their own wrists and arms following suit, poking out at odd, unnatural angles. The earth abruptly opens up, like cracks in paint, swallowing up the very hostiles I was moments away from putting an end to. Regarding my little sister with a harrumph over my shoulder, she sheepishly shrugs, unashamed of swooping in and stealing my kills.

"Twenty one," she teases, bolting past me in my shocked stupor, taking fast, tremendous bounds propelled by torrents of strong winds.

Scowling, I click the heels of my boots together in the midst of my sprint to catch up, the ice skates swiftly slipping out as all the snow in my path solidifies. "I'm still on twenty six!"

"Loki's sceptre must be here. Strucker couldn't amount this defence without it. At long last," Uncle Thor announces over the comms, disregarding Addie and I in our kill count.

A mildly displeased – or, more accurately, slightly inconvenienced – sigh escapes the lips of a certain red-headed assassin. "At long last is lasting a little long boys," Nat points out, sounding like she's hardly out of breath. Soviet Russia is apparently capable of training normal human beings to possess the same level of stamina as enhanced and super human begins. Good to know.

"Yeah, I think we lost the element of surprise," Clint, the second captain of the team, otherwise known as Captain Fucking Obvious, notes. Straightening my arms out and down to either side of me, two elongated, dangerously long swords of ice form between my fingers, and as I skate forward, alarmingly quickly and not slowing down any time soon, I utilise the power of my momentum to expertly leap and spin, dodging between the incoming fire before releasing the lethal icicles, both of which find their homes in the Nazis' chests.

"Twenty eight!" I holler.

"Wait a second, no one else is going to deal with the fact that Cap just said language? Shady, help me out here," Tony voices my own perplexity from a couple minutes ago, immediately deferring to my masterful and wise judgement to back him up.

Grinning as I lash out with a scorching whip of fire, it violently wraps around the neck of an agent that Addie is about to dismember, aggressively yanking the hostile in my direction, and forcefully into the trunk of a sturdy tree. A resounding crack is palpable, indicating the Nazi's imminent death. "Twenty nine – and don't worry Tony, you know I'm not gonna let that one go. That's golden ammo."

My little sister sticks her tongue out at me childishly, but nonetheless chuckles at my input, taking another mighty leap above the tree line in an elegant swirl of naked twigs and wind until she's a good bit ahead of me once again.

"I know," Steve mournfully breathes, knowing he's definitely not going to hear the last of that. "It just slipped out."

Fighting either drags out, or melds into a blur, there is no in between. By this point fighting for me is a blur most of the time. Each strike and block and counter is as instinctual as breathing. It's not often that I need to seriously stop and think through my next move or attack, for those are the kinds of fights that drag out, where you are aware of every single little breath, shuffle, echo, collision and movement in the air. Every sound and shift is amplified by adrenaline, for it is not a fight where you can pinpoint your opponent's moves with ease, but rather, an altercation wrought with unpredictability from an attacker with equal or more skill. Fortunately, this fight so far has remained a consistent flow, a blur between shouting out my kill count to my sister and enjoying some friendly banter with my team mates.

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